The journey North to play Volleyball Aberdeen in a Scottish Premier League fixture began at 06.30 in complete darkness. The Fabulous Suettes gathered at the arranged meeting place and drove past Cumbernauld, Stirling, and Perth before there were any signs of the world lightening up.
The game was to be held at Harlaw Academy with a FBS of 10.45. It was light by then.
Before the match started, the Aberdeen Coach Ross Allan reflected that his team was blowing hot and cold this season. When hot they were capable of taking sets and points off anyone, when not, they found it difficult to consistently compete. No prizes for guessing how they were in this match.
They were terrific! They posed all sorts of problems for the Glasgow side. They cheered for and supported each other in a fantastic display of teamwork, and in addition they played some top-class volleyball.
But the Suettes are top of the table, and they did not get there by shirking a challenge. The Aberdeen side went for broke in that titanic first set and came away with a 18-25 loss. The score did not flatter the visitors, but the set score seemed much tighter to the players on court.
Set 2 went the same way. Powerful serves which interfered with both teams' side out systems. Scrambled defence which resulted in terrific counter attacks, and towering blocks that put the outside hitters under huge pressure. The score was 25-13, but again that did not seem to be an accurate reflection of the encounter.
Set 3 the home side won 25-22. It was tight, it could have gone either way, and the Aberdeen side probably deserved the win.
Set 4 the visitors again responded to the home side's challenge and won 25-13. This was a dominant performance against an excellent opponent. Considering that the Suettes were again missing key players it is all credit to the team for their fighting spirit and the quality of their play. Captain Carly Murray led her team by example in scoring 18 points in service and attack – an outstanding performance.
At the end of the match we were informed that there was no hot water for showering, so the journey South was started sooner than expected... but at least we arrived back in the City before the darkness returned.
As a foot-note we are scheduled to replay the match next Saturday, at Coatbridge HS, in the semi-final of the John Syer Grand Prix – something to look forward to!